Company Chairman Akio Toyoda said the company is looking into how ICE engines can be part of the quest toward carbon neutrality.   -  IMAGE: Toyota

Company Chairman Akio Toyoda said the company is looking into how ICE engines can be part of the quest toward carbon neutrality.

IMAGE: Toyota

Toyota chief Akio Toyoda is again urging the automotive industry to remember other alternatives to electric vehicles in order to cut harmful emissions and said gas-powered models still have a role to that end.

The company released a video of its chairman speaking from the Tokyo Auto Salon 2024 with a New Year greeting and his thoughts on the industry.

Though he stepped down from the company presidency last year, Toyoda discussed other alternative fuels the automaker is pursuing and said gas-powered vehicles still have a place in a healthy mix of fuel options, even waxing poetic about the internal combustion engine.

“Believing that battery electric vehicles do not represent the only way to achieve carbon neutrality, we have been working on hydrogen-engine initiatives since three years ago,” he said in the video.

“… there seem to be cases in which engine-related people cannot borrow money from a bank these days. That should not happen, and I want to do something about it.”

Toyoda said internal-combustion engines can actually help achieve carbon neutrality and that he proposed research and development toward that goal, getting company leadership to sign on.

A little over a year ago, Toyoda, still president at the time, said he was among the “silent majority” of industry executives who were questioning pursuing electric vehicles exclusively. Though the automaker has moved more in the electric direction since he stepped down, it’s not abandoning other alternatives.

“Engines in this day and age? It might sound like we are going backward, but that's not at all the case,” Toyoda said. “Doing so is needed for moving toward the future.

"I love engines!" he said. "Their sounds and smells are irresistible! Some people like battery EVs. Some say that now is the time for hybrids. And then there are plug-in hybrid vehicles and hydrogen. The motive force could be anything. There is always one truth. The only enemy is carbon!”

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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